The Odyssey Essay

895 WordsDec 20, 20134 Pages
The Intelligence Test Heroes often get themselves into troublesome situations. For every difficult feat, it seems as if the protagonist escapes just in time. Strength and speed may seem like the obvious solution, but wit can be more powerful than any physical attribute. Odysseus, the main character in the Odyssey, proves himself worthy by nearly escaping multiple tight situations. Through Odysseus’ ability to weave his way out of difficult situations, Homer reveals that wit can be man’s greatest characteristic. As Odysseus’ curiosity put him and his crew in danger once again, he outsmarted Polyphemus to escape death. Polyphemus was a Cyclops who was also the son of Poseidon. As Odysseus and his twelve handpicked men explored the cave of Polyphemus, Polyphemus kidnapped Odysseus and his crew. Each day the Cyclops would eat two of Odysseus’ men until Odysseus formulated a plan. His plan was to put Polyphemus to sleep using wine. He later said to Polyphemus, “Noman is my name; Noman is what mother and father call me and all my friends.” After he fell asleep, Odysseus would stab him in the eye with a sharpened stake. Then as Polyphemus cried out “Noman has hurt me!” Odysseus and the rest of his crew would escape by binding themselves to Polyphemus’ sheep, which he let out of his cave every day. Humans, like Odysseus were not physically gifted compared to other creatures of Greek and Roman mythology, but man was still able to thrive because of their extraordinary brain capacity. If Odysseus tried to fight Polyphemus head on, he would have suffered death, but instead he used his wit to escape the Cyclops. Odysseus’ plan proved that wit can defeat physical strength. Just as Odysseus used his brain to defeat Polyphemus, Odysseus’ intelligence was tested in a dissimilar way. In the time of gods and goddess, men were very easily distracted by beautiful women and the

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